You exercise to get in shape and feel good. So when you feel shaky during your Zumba class and your downward dog makes your back snap, crackle and pop worse than breakfast cereal, your body may be giving you a heads-up that you’ve got a health problem.
What to do about unusual exercise symptoms
In general, chest pain and shortness of breath should always be checked, especially if you have a known heart-related problem. Ditto for any severe muscle or joint pain. Otherwise, here’s a rundown of common weird exercise symptoms and ways around them.
Weird symptom: Shakiness
Too much coffee before a workout or an “energizing” dietary supplement can put nerves on edge and cause the shakes – even without the Shake Weight. Or you may simply be suffering from low blood sugar and need food. Muscles need glucose (blood sugar) for energy, so a drop in blood sugar can cause jitteriness.
Weird symptom: Nausea
Nothing kills exercise motivation like feeling queasy during a workout. Working out takes blood away from your gastrointestinal tract (stomach, intestines, etc.) and brings it to where it’s needed – your muscles. This may cause nausea, as can taking vitamins on an empty stomach. You may also be pregnant or have a touch of the flu.
Weird symptom: Body itches/hives
Itching to get in shape? Increased body temperature during exercise can cause some people to develop hives, otherwise known as exercise-induced urticaria. Non-breathable clothing can trigger itching, as can air temperature changes from warm to cold and vice versa. Scratching releases more histamines and only makes the situation worse — so don’t.
Weird symptom: Crunchy knees
When squats and lunges make your knees sound as if you’re eating a bag of chips, don’t fret. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting old. It can even occur in high school athletes when the knee cap isn’t tracking (lining up) correctly. It’s not usually a problem unless the noise is accompanied by pain, swelling or the joint locking out.